Anime (アニメ in Japanese) is the style of animation or cartoons popularized in Japan, but appreciated worldwide today. Anime inspires lots of LEGO models from builders everywhere. Whether you love the artistry of Hayao Miyazaki or mecha from shows like Gundam and Evangelion, you’ll find many wonderful LEGO creations inspired by anime here on The Brothers Brick.
Despite more comebacks and fewer female characters than the Star Wars franchise, the Smurfs are still wildly popular today, almost 60 years after their first appearance as a Belgian comic strip. With two new Smurf movies behind us and another one in the works, it was only a matter of time before fans got tired waiting for LEGO to get in on the action, and took matters into their own hands. Which is exactly what Lee Jones and a team of builders did at BrickWorld Chicago did last month!
This huge diorama depicts the Smurf village, complete with forest landscaping, mushroom houses, and a forced-perspective version of Gargamel’s castle. All beautifully rounded off with the giant intruding faces of Gargamel and Azrael (courtesy of Tyler Halliwell and Kevin Lauer).
But the most remarkable part of this display have to be the Smurf minifigs. No, you’re not seeing things… Those aren’t shoddy clone brand figures. And no, LEGO didn’t secretly launch a line of collectible Smurf figs when no-one was looking. These are 100% custom manufactured! Lee’s team worked with BrickForge and Brick Fortress to design and produce custom components (heads, tails, even rotatable arms) all to “LEGO quality”. The results speak for themselves. Our pals at Beyond the Brick talked to Lee at BrickWorld and got the low-down…
We’ve seen the Friends minidolls show up in all sorts of interesting creations since they were introduced in 2012, including sky-fi airplanes, giant spaceships, tiny spaceships, and mechs. But these anime-inspired hardsuits may just be one of the best uses I’ve seen yet. When paired with the crazy hairpieces from LEGO’s official anime-inspired theme in 2006-2008, Exo-Force, the minidolls look like they’re straight out of an anime. And builder 3D Foundry has done some great work building cool hardsuits for them.
Our friend Pascal (pasukaru76) must have been watching Ghost in the Shell recently, as he’s built a fantastic “think tank” (basically a robotic tank mecha) inspired by the one in the movie. Pascal describes it as a close cousin, and that works for me. The build achieves some simple geometric shapes, which on close inspection prove to be rather elegant implementations of complex techiques, for instances at the angles at the base of the legs. The use of stickers on the model is also top-notch, and really brings it to a higher level.
Mike Dung has done an incredible job of recreating the “2013 Snow Miku” version of Hatsune Miku. The posing of the figure is great, but the folds and layering of the shiromuku are really exceptional. It’s too bad he had to make her hair green instead of turquoise but the figure wouldn’t have turned out nearly as well, due to parts constraints. It was a great compromise, as there are limitations, even in LEGO. Mike really turned out a beautiful creation here!
While it’s fair to say that a lot of characters in the vast Gundam franchise run around dressed as giant robots (sorry, “mobile suits”), some of them do also use spaceships. And among the more iconic of those is probably the Archangel from ‘Cosmic Era’ spin-off Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, recreated here in mega-swooshable LEGO form by lisqr.
It’s a “Summer of Korra” for Avatar fans, with the 3rd season of The Legend of Korra now in full swing on Nickelodeon. We’ve seen Korra go through some big changes in the first two seasons, and the title of the new season is ‘Change’ …go figure.
Letranger Absurde hasn’t wasted any time getting in on the action with this exquisite vignette featuring a minifig Korra demonstrating multiple bending techiques, while her trusty steed Naga looks on. The construction of the water spout (or could it be a Sharknado, I wonder??) is particularly nice.
The Naga model appears to be fully posable (…thankyou Mixels!) and ready for Korra to ride. The Avatar has also been given the perfect sassy expression: “I’m the Avatar, and you gotta deal with it!”
While clearly inspired by Japanese Anime, RWBY (an American animated series from the Rooster Teeth stables) could never be mistaken as a product of that genre. But that hasn’t stopped Anime building master Mike Dung from adapting his signature style to depict Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang in full 3D….
I’ll admit that my first reaction upon seeing the show was “Anime-skinned Red vs Blue”. Which is not surprising since it’s made by the same team that gave us Red vs Blue. But its snappy dialogue, rock soundtrack, great fight choreography, and short episodes seem to be winning combination within the RT community.
Personally, I’d love to see Mike break from his trend of only building female characters, and perhaps try his hand at some of the guys from this show as well, like Roman or Junior!
LegoWyrm has started creating adorable LEGO chibi characters, based on a style originally developed by legendary Japanese builder Moko. Here is his version of the titular heroine from the videogame American McGee’s Alice (click here for bonus gory version).
He’s also churned out some beautifully chibi-fied characters from other games and anime. See if you can name any of them (regular readers should be able to name the last one by now). And tell me that these figures don’t immediately put a huge smile on your face! Just remember to turn away before your head explodes from all the cuteness…